Creative Roadblocks

As I get older (and hopefully wiser) as an artist, I’m looking less and less for answers and more and more for ways out of creative roadblocks, shame spirals, defensive crouches, box canyons, that can feel insurmountable when lost in them.

My Rosen therapist, Jennifer Boone, said it’s like a rat in a maze hitting it’s head against a roadblock but then relaxes and is able to sniff up past the wall and look around 360 degrees and see a number of ways out.

My latest creative block is around performing.

Last week at David Ford’s class, Diane said it broke her heart that I didn’t like performing. that in the middle of a piece I’d get bored and ask myself what was I doing. What gall I had splatting my blather in front of an audience. Sometimes my voice would go dead. Sometimes my mind a terrifying blanket of white. A few seconds became agonizing hours.

I blurted out that I missed the carefree days of youth when as teenagers. Under the dramatic leadership of Phil Simons me and my friends did many wild and crazy performances for children. Come one come all! Join the Bubblegum Players! No auditions. No learning lines. Lots of improv games. No stress.

We made whack-ed out costumes and props. Put everything in a giant pirates trunk and toured. Everything we used on stage was pulled out of the magic trunk Phil constructed. That thing was HEAVY. A couple of bodies could be stashed in there.

But hey, why can’t I employ the Phil Simons methods in directing myself? Improv games for my scenes instead of dead word memorization of lines. Sure improv doesn’t maximize the language but hell, at least its more fun!

As my dear husband put it, re-establish my relationship with pleasure in performing. So that’s what today’s method is. That and finding whacked out friends who want to work together on stuff.

I worked an hour today. There were moments of pleasure. And the work was more free. I still feel like I’m trying to punch through the rat maze wall. Maybe tomorrow will be better when two colleagues from Ford’s class come over and work with me.


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